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2001-2 Champions League Phase 2 Preview

Barcelona

Best Run in Champions League 1994 - Runners Up
Tournament Odds 10/1 (Liverpool 14/1)
As the top seeds, Barcelona start as group favourites. The Catalan giants have often promised much but failed to deliver in this competition, but this season they look like one of the few clubs who can genuinely go all the way.

Over recent years, Barca have survived playing with a rather weak defence for such a massive club, and a top class attack capable of always scoring one more goal than they concede. But with the signing of Patrick Andersson, Barca have been much tighter at the back which is clearly shown in the amount of goals they are conceding compared to last year.

Up front is a different matter entirely. The loss of Figo just over a year ago has not had a great effect on the quality of Barca's forward players. Rivaldo, Kluivert, Luis Enrique and Overmars would frighten most defences, but with the addition of Javier Saviola from River Plate, Barcelona look even stronger this year.

Barca will expect to qualify but would also like to gain a little something back in the games against Liverpool, who embarrased Barca in last season's UEFA Cup semi final by preventing them from scoring in 180 minutes of football. The games against Liverpool are sure to provide more goals than last season and if both attacks are in form, there could be a couple of classics in store!
Barcelona in the Champions League - a Complete Record

 

Galatasaray

Best Run in Champions League 2001 - Quarter Final
Tournament Odds 50/1
Last season's beaten quarter finalists have started in far from emphatic fashion this time around. Scoring goals seems to be a problem for Gala with them scoring more than once in only one game, which was the final match against Anderlecht. The away win Nantes was impressive however, and a look at their results shows that they are exceptionally difficult to beat on their own ground. They currently have a 13 game unbeaten home run in the competition which include victories over Milan, Deportivo, Lazio and Real Madrid and they also comfortably beat Leeds United on the way to their UEFA Cup win in 2000.

But while they will no doubt make life difficult for the other sides, Galatasaray probably start as the outsiders to make the quarter finals, and an earlier exit than last year seems likely.
Galatasaray in the Champions League - a Complete Record

 

Roma

Best Run in Champions League 2001 - Second Round
Tournament Odds 14/1
Like Galatasaray, Roma were not one of the most impressive sides in the first round. After showing great character to hold onto top spot in Serie A last season, despite a late charge by Juve and Lazio, big things were expected of Roma again this season.

Debutants in the competition, Roma will be satisfied with the progress they have made so far but a look at their first round results don't make look like those of such a big club. Only Lokomotiv Moscow actually lost to the Italians and with only Boavista qualifying with fewer points than Roma, the other teams in this group will feel that they can take points from them both home and in the Stadio Olympico.

The form of their forwards will be crucial, as it was in their successful league campaign last season. Previous results dont count for anything in round 2, but Roma will need to improve, especially at home, if they are to have any chance of progressing.
Roma in the Champions League - a Complete Record

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